Data Carpentry Goes to the Netherlands

ELIXIR sponsored Data Carpentry workshop

This post originally appeared on the Data Carpentry website

Last week, between 22nd and 25th June, we ran a Data Carpentry hackathon and workshop at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. Both events were a part of ELIXIR Pilot Project aiming to develop Data and Software Carpentry training across the ELIXIR Nodes. The project is coordinated by ELIXIR UK and a number of other Nodes are partnering up, including ELIXIR Netherlands, ELIXIR Finland and ELIXIR Switzerland.

The hackathon consisted of two days during which the participants representing 10 ELIXIR Nodes worked on Data Carpentry training materials. The first day started with an introduction to the Data and Software Carpentry teaching model. This was followed by a review and discussion of the existing materials. The participants made suggestions about possible improvements for the existing materials and new topics to be developed. The overall theme of the hackathon was “genomics” and hence the participants could base their work on the existing material for teaching genomics in Data Carpentry. Eventually three groups were formed:

  • Group 1 which worked on creating training materials on using ELIXIR Cloud resources.
  • Group 2 which worked on a decision tree for using cloud computing.
  • Group 3 which worked on different aspects of understanding how to use one’s data for genomics. In particular the group worked on describing the file formats, file manipulation, pipelines integration, post-assembly - de novo RNA Transcriptome Analysis, handling blast annotation output and verifying data.

The hackathon was facilitated by Karthik Ram (University of California, Berkeley, rOpenSci, Data Carpentry) and Aleksandra Pawlik (the Software Sustainability Institute’s Training Lead). After the hackathon Karthik and Aleksandra taught a 2-day Data Carpentry workshop. It was the first Data Carpentry workshop in the Netherlands. Thirty students from life science research areas participated. The workshop covered the standard Data Carpentry curriculum. One module was added at the end of the second day. This module covered using ELIXIR Cloud resources to allow us to test out the materials created during the hackathon.

The whole event received positive feedback and this pilot project appears to have had a great reception within ELIXIR. The Slovenian and Belgian Nodes are running workshops this year and it is likely that others will follow soon.

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